Some of these items are interesting while some are bothersome. First of all, these replacement officials did an admirable job in Week 1, but the wheels came off the wagon last week as there were many bad calls, a couple games almost got out of hand and the Monday nighter had more stoppages and delays (officials conferences on the field) than an airport.
It’s time Roger Goodell to get Ed Hochuli and the crew back on the field before players get hurt, and a crucial error costs a team a playoff berth. You have the best professional league and deepest pockets in the world with second-rate officials. It doesn’t make sense.
Looking at the standings, there is definitely parity as six teams are 2-0, 20 teams are 1-1 and only six teams are 0-2. There are never any easy games in the NFL, but it’s even more evident this season.
Rookie quarterbacks are once again proving that the college game is better preparing them for the NFL as their combined records are 4-6, which is very respectable. The rookie quarterbacks are Andrew Luck, RG III, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, and Brandon Weeden.
Who said home field wasn’t important anymore in the NFL?
Last week, the home teams were 14-2 and you just can’t underestimate how a home crowd can fire up a team and change momentum.
Finally, it’s quite obvious the importance of a head coach to an NFL team as the Saints are really struggling in all aspects of the game without suspended boss Sean Payton. The Saints look disorganized, and Payton was such a great play-caller on offence that it became very easy for Drew Brees to execute plays.
Now, Brees has to do both and as a result the Saints have lost some of their offensive power.
Stat of the week
For the Manning brothers, the first half for both of their games is something for them to forget as both each threw three interceptions in opening 30 minutes.
Eli was able to lead his Giants back to victory over the Bucs, but Peyton just fell short against the Falcons.
Pet peeve of the week
There is an unwritten rule in football that when a team declares it’s taking a knee to end the game, the defence doesn’t fire off the ball to catch the offensive line off guard. Someone could have been hurt with this stunt the Bucs tried on the Giants.
Coach Parcells quote of the week
“ I think confrontation is healthy, because it clears the air very quickly.”
The sure thing
As we found out last week (Pats losing at home to the Cards), there are no sure things in the NFL, but even though the 49ers are on the road in Minnesota they look like the best team in football. San Fran’s D will make life miserable for Vikes quarterback Christian Ponder, and Randy Moss will score at his old stomping grounds in a 49ers’ win.
Perhaps the worst team in football is the Raiders. Even the Dolphins blew them out last week. Back in the ‘70s a Steelers-Raiders’ game would be something worth watching. Today, it will be something to fall asleep to. Take the black and yellow, and not the silver and black, in the “Black Hole.”
New Orleans is 0-2, and this is a must-game against the 0-2 Chiefs. The loser has definitely no chance at the playoffs, so you have to believe Brees will rebound from two bad starts. Saints march to 1-2.
Don’t mortgage the house picks
In a battle of 2-0 teams, the Falcons are on the road in San Diego. Phillip Rivers is quietly having a great start despite limited resources on offence. Atlanta said in the off-season they would put points on the board, and they have not disappointed. This will be a good game, but Rivers just won’t be able to match touchdown for touchdown with the Falcons.
Both the Patriots and Ravens are coming off disappointing losses. The Pats really have to be concerned with their issues on the offensive line as Tom Brady is under constant pressure. It won’t get much better against the Ravens, who also want a little revenge from last season’s tough AFC Championship loss. Baltimore sends the Pats to a surprising 1-2 record.
It’s funny what a difference a week makes as The Freak didn’t hear boo from the Cowboys’ fans. Wonder why? Dallas is finally at home and takes on the Bucs, who found out what kind of fourth-quarter QB Eli Manning is. You have to believe some of that shocking loss is still lingering, so the ‘Boys win their home opener.
Who would have thought the Arizona Cardinals would be 2-0 (won-lost), and on top of the NFC West?
The Cardinals are really pressuring the quarterback, and the Eagles’ Mike Vick has been throwing the ball up for grabs all year despite winning both games.
Former Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb will also be out for some redemption against his old team, and will play well.
Usually an Eagle would destroy a Cardinal, but in the football world this week, the Cardinals will win out.
Last week: 5-for-7 (71.4 per cent).
Season: 10-for-15 (66.6 per cent).
John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.